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Financial News: Japan's Manufacturing Downturn Intensifies In April

Japan's Manufacturing Downturn Intensifies In April

05/01/2020 - 01:48:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Japan's manufacturing downturn intensified in April as the coronavirus, or covid-19, pandemic caused severe fall in domestic and foreign demand, final survey results from IHS Markit showed Friday.

The headline au Jibun Bank Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to an eleven-year low of 41.9 in April from 44.8 in March. The flash reading was 43.7. A score below 50 indicates contraction.

Production declined at the strongest pace since March 2009 due to a collapse in demand and factory shutdowns.

Amid reports of order cancellation, sales declined the most in over 11 years. New export orders fell at a rate not seen since the height of the global financial crisis in early 2009.

Looking ahead, survey respondents expect conditions to remain highly challenging over the next 12 months.

As a result of lower production requirements, employment and purchasing activity were reduced in April. Staffing numbers fell at the fastest pace since mid-2009.

Lastly, input prices decreased at the fastest rate since September 2016 amid lower oil prices. Output charges were cut for the third consecutive month.

"The latest figures show that until we're past the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and export demand can begin its slow recovery, a sizeable chunk of Japan's manufacturing economy is set to remain effectively shut down," Joe Hayes, an economist at IHS Markit, said.

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